Augustus White, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says there’s a quick way to get the very best medical care in case of a heart attack: Be a white, straight, middle-class male. White’s engaging new book, “Seeing Patients,” is about unconscious bias in health care. The first half of the book is autobiographical. White recounts growing up African American in segregated Memphis, serving as a combat surgeon in Vietnam and becoming the first black department chief af the Harvard teaching hospitals. In the second half, White explains how individuals and health-care systems can recognize and overcome their unconscious prejudices.
Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart magazine contains a four-page spread about how folks can cut excess (and sometimes hidden) sugar from their diets. In the vein of the popular “Eat This, Not That!” series of books from Men’s Health, ShopSmart offers alternatives to such high-sugar, non-dessert foods as yogurt, juice, ketchup and spaghetti sauce. A savvy examination of the nutrition facts of Quaker Instant Oatmeal leads to this brain-buster: “If you want fewer calories, buy the lower-sugar version; and if you want less sugar, go for the weight-control one.” The next issue of the magazine, available Jan. 11, will rank the best and worst Web sites for health advice.